August 3, 2011

Southern Company Receives NRC Schedule for Vogtle License

ATLANTA, Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company subsidiary Southern Nuclear has received from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission a schedule for the completion of the licensing process for Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 near Waynesboro, Ga., that supports the issuance of a Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) around the end of 2011.

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The schedule calls for the COL Final Safety Evaluation Report to be issued in August 2011, and the completion of the mandatory hearing process in December 2011. Southern Company expects commercial operation of Unit 3 in 2016 and Unit 4 in 2017.

"This action provides clarity and certainty toward the historic issuance of a license for the first new nuclear units approved for construction in the U.S. in more than 25 years," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "We can see the COL finish line from here as we head into the final stages of the licensing process."

Upon receipt of the COL, full construction can commence at the site. Southern Nuclear has been working under a Limited Work Authorization permit since 2009, which allows for certain safety-related construction activities.

Southern Nuclear is overseeing construction and will operate the two new 1,100-megawatt AP1000 units for Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corporation, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities. Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of the new units, with a certified amount of $6.1 billion.

The project represents a $14 billion investment in Georgia, with 3,500 construction jobs and 800 permanent jobs. The new units will provide clean, safe and reliable electricity for more than 500,000 homes and businesses in Georgia.

Southern Nuclear currently operates Plant Vogtle's two existing nuclear power units as well as Georgia Power's Plant Hatch nuclear facility near Baxley, Ga., and Alabama Power's Plant Farley nuclear facility near Dothan, Ala.

With 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company is the parent firm of electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications companies. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company was named the World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility by Fortune magazine in 2011, and is consistently listed among the top U.S. electric service providers in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Visit our website at

SOURCE Southern Company